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Geography Archives: South Korea

Syria, Libya, and Russia’s Retreat from “Reset”

The last thing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev did before departing for France to attend this week’s Group of Eight summit meeting in Deauville was place a call to Damascus. Prima facie, one may think the call made sense, since, as Reuters reported, “Syria’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests” is going to be high on the agenda […]

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Korean Artillery Exchanges on Nov. 23

West Sea Crisis in Korea

  Contested Waters: Background to a Crisis 1. On November 23, 2010, military troops from the Republic of Korea (ROK, or South Korea) and the United States conducted war-simulation exercises, dubbed “Hoguk” [“Defend the State”], a massive joint endeavor involving 70,000 soldiers, 600 tanks, 500 warplanes, 90 helicopters, and 50 warships.  It was slated to […]

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Sinjuku Domannaka Demo

Unquiet on the Far Eastern Front

From the FWIW department, a video of an anti-war demonstration of 160 people in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, on 5 December 2010. One of the themes of the Shinjuku demo, as shown in this poster, was (to paraphrase rather than translate): “‘China Will Invade Japan’?  Are You Nuts?” In other words, the crazy Japanese right-wingers are […]

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A New Bandung?

  Would you say that you’re among the pessimists who regard the five decades of African independence as five lost decades? I’m not a pessimist and I don’t think that these have been five lost decades.  I remain extremely critical, extremely severe with respect to African states, governments, and political classes, but I’m even more […]

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Korea: Still an Unknown War

Bruce Cumings.  The Korean War: A History.  New York: Modern Library, 2010.  Cloth, $24.00, pp 288. Any time that a book appears by Bruce Cumings, one of our foremost scholars on Korea, it merits attention.  His latest book, The Korean War, is particularly welcome given the recent sharp increase in tensions on the Korean Peninsula. […]

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China’s Export Conundrum

  In 2009, the European Union, United States and Mexico filed a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against China’s export restrictions on certain raw materials, including bauxite, coke, fluorspar, silicon carbide and zinc.  They said that, firstly, these constraints — in the form of export taxes, quotas, licences and so on — caused […]

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Fed Bashing at the G-20: A Return to the Gold Standard Anyone?

A strange thing happened on the way to the G-20 meetings: world elite opinion has turned against the Federal Reserve’s “Quantitative Easing” (QE) program, the only significant “Keynesian” macroeconomic policy being implemented anywhere in the face of massive unemployment in much of the developed world; and this criticism is garnering some support from strange places, […]

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G20: The United States and Neo-mercantilism

Here comes the travail of crisis.  The more they talk about coordination, the more it becomes necessary to concentrate on the conflicts revealed by the very talk of coordination.  The G20 finance ministers’ meeting, held in South Korea on Friday, has already been mortgaged by the case opened by US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner regarding […]

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US Trade Imbalance and Total Trade Growth Rate with Including and Excluding FAS (Foreign Affiliate Sales)

Playing the Currency Blame Game

The slanging match over currency and monetary policies at the annual Fund-Bank meetings, held over the second weekend of October, points to the disarray in global economic governance.  While the US sought to mobilise IMF support for an effort to realign exchange rates and ensure an appreciation of the renminbi in the wake of China’s […]

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Just Say No to the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement

  The free trade push has begun again.  Both U.S. President Barack Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak are calling for ratification of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which was signed by the two countries’ trade representatives in April 2007 but has yet to be approved by either the U.S. Congress or the South […]

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Who Will Allow Brazil to Reach Its Economic Potential?

The biggest economic question facing Brazil, as for most developing countries, is when it will achieve its potential economic growth.  For Brazil, there is a simple, most relevant comparison: its pre-1980 — or pre-neoliberal — past. From 1960-1980, income per person — the most basic measure that economists have of economic progress — in Brazil […]

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